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Health and Fitness Resolutions for The New Year

Health and Fitness Resolutions for The New Year

The most popular trend immediately after New Year’s Eve is the resolution that we take up for the next year. But how often does that pan out well for you? Come February your resolution is more or less shot to pieces, your goals forgotten, with you being back in the same old rut.

Why is it that our well-intentioned, and initially earnest New Year resolutions usually crumble so easily? Mainly, there are two reasons. First off, we don’t set clear or realistic targets for ourselves. And secondly, we anticipate ‘failure’ right from the beginning of said resolution.

Make this year a bit different. Get a head start on the rest of the population and learn how to apply the principles of resolution setting to your own goals and aspirations.

Get Specific About Your Goals

What does ‘toning up’ or ‘losing weight’ actually mean to you? When you formulate a new health and fitness resolution, put it through the SMART test. Is the goal Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-framed? If not, then adjust it so that it is – and write it down. Compare ‘I’m going to lose weight this year’ to ‘I’m going to lose ten pounds by March,’ to get an idea of how much more compelling a SMART goal is.

Be Active Whenever You Can

Think about the last time you got in the car to drive a 15-minute walk. Did you absolutely have to do it, because you were on a tight schedule, or because you were late to meet someone? If not, then could you have walked instead? This is the principle behind being active when you can. It’s important that you learn to distinguish between ‘can’t’ and ‘can’t be bothered.’

Increase Your Fruit Intake

Fruit and vegetables are packed with health-promoting, disease-fighting phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals and ideally you should be consuming five to eight portions a day. Never leave the house without having at least one portion, of your designated fruits. You could start the day with a fruit smoothie or a fresh juice. Use fruits as snacks  between meals to reach the target. Dried, canned and frozen varieties count. If all else fails, you can always go the FRU2go way- pure fruit energy to help take care of all your fruit nutrition needs. With 100% natural fruit, no added sugar, colours, flavours or preservatives and a shelf life of 6 months.

Start A Training Journal

Anyone who works out regularly or plans to do so, must keep a log of what they do. Including where they are at the beginning of said activity, in terms of one’s weight, fitness level and so on. You will find that keeping a diary is motivating, and incredibly useful. For example, if you find a newly defined shape creeping up on your thighs, you can check out what exercises you were focusing on the last few weeks. It’s also useful if you come up against an injury, or recurring illness – as you can look for signs in you log.

Get Your Fluid Intake Right

While the cold weather may not make you feel so thirsty, but packed offices and public transport are extremely dehydrating. And though you may not feel it, you are still sweating while exercise in the cold weather. The recommended fluid intake for adults is 1ml per calorie of food intake. So if you have a 2,000 calorie per day diet then you should be consuming 2,000ml of water during that day.

Try increasing your intake by 500ml for a couple of weeks in other words, just one small bottle of mineral water. You will notice that it improves your concentration, energy levels and skin.

Find Balance In Your Fitness Activity

If you love running, or have a passion for any specific activity, it’s tempting to restrict yourself to just doing that one thing. But it is really important to have a balance of different activities in your regime. You’ve got to include some strength work, some flexibility training and some aerobic exercises to your regime. One reduces their risk of injury and burnout with a balanced fitness regime. While gaining fitness in these neglected areas will help improve your performance in your preferred activities too.

Don’t Be So Intense In Your Training

There are countless benefits to be gained from high intensity exercises, like greater calorie expenditure, improved cardiac output, etc. While the more gentle and paced out workouts lead to increased fat utilization, stress reduction, and lower blood pressure. Constant and intense workouts can compromise your immune system and leave you vulnerable to injury. Which is why one must follow the hard-easy rule. Which means that if you’ve had a tough and engaging session today. Then you follow it up with an easier and less intense work out the next day.

Learn A New Activity

Whether it’s horseback riding, a tennis lesson or signing up for a Pilates sessions, pledge to acquire a new activity-related skill this year. The body gets complacent when you always do the same thing, it gets used to the routine. Which is when you have a tough time challenging yourself again. Giving something new a try will force your brain and body to master new motor patterns. It’s absorbing, fun and infinitely more rewarding than usual.

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